A Staten Island man accused of pretending to be a teenager as he solicited sexual images from young girls was arrested for the second time in two months on Wednesday and federal authorities say more victims may be involved.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says 42-year-old Ryan Behar, a registered sex offender with "long history of criminal misconduct involving minors," recorded explicit photos and videos he received from a 16-year-old girl on Instagram. Behar allegedly began contacting the victim in September 2020 and their communications continued through October, according to authorities.
While acting as a teenager himself in a video call with the victim, Behar allegedly asked her to perform sexual acts on camera and directing her to change her clothes for him, among other sexually explicit things.
Behar was arrested once already this year on Jan. 24, according to a letter prosecutors sent to a judge requesting a permanent order of detention. He was accused of an Instagram account to send images of erect male genitalia to young victims, some of whom appear to reside within the Eastern District of New York. When he attempted to meet with one of the victims in person, he was arrested by the NYPD, but he was released and continued to contact minors on social media.
Prosecutors say Behar has been using Instagram to contact minors since August 2020. The private Instagram profile used to contact the victims has a photo of what appears to be a young boy wearing a gray t-shirt. His profile description says, "Hi girls I am single." Some of the aliases he used include: Vinny Conti, Slimvectra2025, Rocko_Conti, Rocko Conti, nick_kanter2020, slimvectra1980, Ryan Conte.
Prior to current charges, Behar was convicted in February 2018 for an offense involving a 12-year-old victim. He was also sentenced in March 2020 for a probation violation.
The ages of his victims, of which there are more than a dozen, ranged from 10 to 17 years old, according to prosecutors. Behar has also tried to meet with two victims last year at the Staten Island Mall.
Behar has been charged with attempted sexual exploitation of a child. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of 30 years in prison, according to the FBI.
Authorities are also searching for victims or parents of victims to come forward because they believe there are many more that Behar contacted. You can contact 1-800-CALL-FBI, or reach out online at http://tips.fbi.gov.